extremely clean, modern-looking Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. With the 4 different desktop layouts (with 4 more in the Pro version) it will be a familiar experience no matter if your last computer had Windows 7-10-11, macOS, ChromeOS. Version 16 based on Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS just arrived a few weeks ago and you should really give it a try... and if you do, read on for some tips on how to make an awesome distro even better.
One of the best Windows 10 features is that you can use a PIN to log in faster than typing your password. Of course with Windows Hello you can log in even faster, but fingerprint scanning is often unreliable, and not many laptops have the IR camera required for the facial unlock feature. Wouldn't it be great if you could use a PIN to log in to your Linux desktop too?
With the release of Ubuntu 21.04, official support for fractional scaling was announced. I decided to do a fresh install on my desktop system to check out solely this feature. To speed up the post-install configuration phase and to score an easy blog post, I made a list of the software I use every day.
I don't have too many pet peeves, but a disabled Numlock is annoying as hell, especially if you type numbers a lot. It is also infuriating if you physically have to click the trackpad instead of just tapping lightly once you got used to this feature in Windows. When I used a Macbook Pro for a few months this has baffled me but I didn't realize you can enable tap to click in system preferences.
There are a lot of great screenshot apps that you can use to convey information to others. The first one I really liked was Lightshot, which is available for Windows, Mac, or as a Chrome extension. As I am back to using Ubuntu-based Linux distros for work, I needed a similar tool.
Spotify is not a terrible service if you disregard the slow and buggy user interface. Using it is way better than hunting for all the music you like to organize them on your computer and as a plus, you can download your playlist for offline play on your mobile phone with the Premium plan.
The Unity desktop was quite a big step forward in usability and design back when it came out (at least in my opinion), but by the end of the decade, the reskinned Gnome 3 environment became quite dated compared to the competitors. There are things in both macOS (window decorations) and Windows 10 that I like way more, but I also want to keep Ubuntu for the speed and stability.
During the current pandemic, the home office suddenly became the preferred mode of work. This, of course, caused a huge increase in webcam prices and shortages in supply. I ran into the same problem and my laptop camera was no viable alternative either with its subpar quality. Luckily, there is a way to use my better-than-average phone camera for conference calls with the desktop computer running Ubuntu.
Ubuntu 20.04 just arrived with fractional scaling of the desktop available from the settings. Yes, you have to turn it on first to be able to choose fractional scaling of 125% or 150%, but finally you don't have to edit gnome settings to do this. Also, this time it might work as intended too...
WebP is an image format employing both lossy and lossless compression currently developed by Google. It is great if you want that slight advantage when you look at your SEO scores, but not so great (yet) for Facebook share images. The problem is, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS comes with GIMP 2.8 by default and this version cannot export to the WebP format.